I did a Pinterest thing that didn’t totally suck.

Mason jar herb garden: Lauren's version

I’ve had my fair share of epic domestic fails, particularly when trying to recreate things that I find from Pinterest. I think I can be pretty capable in the DIY department, but, you know, Pinterest forces us (or at least me) to set unrealistic expectations about what is actually DIY-possible.

We moved into a slightly bigger apartment a few months ago, and it’s been fun to get to settle in and figure out where things go. Our kitchen is bigger, with a huge butler’s pantry. It’s the Ritz Carlton of kitchens, as far as I’m concerned, and I’ll tell you more about that later. We’ve also now got a nice big deck, and I managed to plant some flowers out there this summer. The only problem is, the deck is shaded 90% of the time, so, not ideal for growing herbs and veggies. I’ll tell you more about that later, too.

I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of community gardening, not because I don’t believe in it, but because I’ve spent the last two summers paying $75 to watch a bunch of vegetables die. Even though our garden was only a mile a way, getting there was hard, because, life. When I was able to go, there was this walk of shame past all the beautiful, bountiful beds to our pathetic little patch filled with green beans, three strawberries, dead tomato plants and a bunch of weeds.

Anyway… where was I? Right. DIY. Continue reading

Open Hearts and Pocketbooks at Hubbard Street’s $800K Evening

Heather Mabie, Stephanie Curley, and Jack Colley. Photo by Robert F. Carl.

Those folks at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago sure know how to throw a party. I didn’t really think they could top last year’s Spotlight Ball featuring THE Mikhail Baryshnikov, but all the fancies came out of the woodwork for a beautiful, inspiring, and incredibly lucrative night for Hubbard Street. Between gala tickets, silent auction and an exciting live auction netting $200K, Monday’s Spotlight Ball brought in more than $800,000 to benefit artistic and educational programming, so it was a pretty good day in the office for them.

I managed to rock my $10 dress from Marshalls and didn’t get embarassingly drunk. So I call it a big win for me, too. Continue reading

We did a really embarrassing photo shoot.

Julie and Lauren

Two things:

1) Hiring somebody to help plan your wedding is a really good idea. It wasn’t too difficult to convince our entertainment savvy neighbor Phillip to help us. Otherwise we probably would be ordering pizza and putting Instagram selfies on the invitation.

2) We are extremely serious people. Not really. Which makes an engagement photo shoot really awkward. Fortunately we had a lot of help not looking like dweebs from my friend Ashley at A. Deran Photography. Well, ok, sometimes we still looked like dweebs, but that’s not Ashley’s fault. Continue reading

My Netflix queue is filled with lesbians from the 1980s

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The thing is, when the GF goes out on the road, there’s a measurable uptick in my house for redecorating and bad gay movies. I don’t have cable, but  I do have Roku, and Sunday afternoon I came across this little beauty: Desert Hearts.

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You know the story… the lonely, dissatisfied professor – Vivian –  travels to Reno to get a divorce (apparently that was a thing), and falls madly in love with the radical feminist lesbian of the desert – Cay. Spoiler alert: they live happily ever after. Continue reading

You can tear these coffee passports from my cold, dead hands.

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I was repurposing a big basket tonight (as I’m apt to do in the wee hours of the morning when I’ve accidentally drank too much coffee after 6pm), and came across a stack of coffee passports and coffee master kits from my time in the trenches at Starbucks. The thought crossed my mind that it might be time to purge some of these things, but I don’t know, I just don’t want to yet.

The thing is: I have a lot of really fond memories of working at Starbucks. It’s surprising how many sentences I start with, “You know, when I worked at Starbucks…”

Starbucks was my first real job. I was set to graduate college, and, having a typical 22-year-old what-am-I-doing-with-my-life existential crisis, walked three miles from school to find a serendipitous sign on the storefront at 670 N. Michigan, Number 2548 – the busiest Starbucks in the Midwest. It went something like: “Now Hiring.”

Ok, as far as coffee art goes I get that Starbucks is the McDonald’s of premium coffee beverages (except, apparently the golden arches have their own fancy coffees now too…), but I maintain that it was, and I assume still is, a fantastic company to work for. Character building… yeah, that’s what it was.1926875_10153091662771079_3973350116197501150_n

So…. right. Purging.

In the end, I parted with the two coffee master kits, but couldn’t give up the passports even after streaming an episode of Hoarders on Netflix.

#thestruggleisreal